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I don't want to be brave

One of the more common things that gets said to me is that I am brave, but I don't want to be brave.

There was an opinion piece in the Toronto Star recently, Trans people need our support, that a number of us, and our family, shared widely on Facebook. One of the comments in response to my mom was (paraphrasing) "your daughter is very brave, she should ignore the haters." Sigh.

I appreciate that this is coming from a place of good attention, but we need to break this down a bit: why am I very brave? Living authentically, in yourself, shouldn't have to be an act of bravery but, today, it very much is. The storm of hate being directed at our community is beyond intense and that leads me to the second point: we cannot ignore it. 

Ignoring the haters is effectively engaging in neutrality and that only enables oppression. Instead of ignoring hateful media articles or hateful comments, if the community around us stood up and pushed back, it would stop. That's not happening. I write letters to editors and media organizations complaining, I tell my cis circle that I am doing this, but I feel like I am the only one in my circle doing this most often. Lots of virtual hugs and sympathy, but where's the noise? I don't need care or heart emojis, I need people to write the same letters, make the same noise. Make no mistake, the bigots are extremely well organized. We need to be much better at it too.

As I commented: I want people to stop saying, "you're so brave, ignore the haters" and start saying, "you shouldn't have to be brave, I stand with you."

I don't want to be brave.


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